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Fifteen States Are Suing the EPA for Violating the Clean Air Act

A group of 15 attorneys general are suing the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, argues that the EPA has ignored its legal duty to control methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the United States. "Its continued refusal to do so is not only illegal, but threatens our public health and environment, and squanders savings of over $100 million annually," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "Our coalition has made clear: when the Trump administration thumbs their nose at the law and endangers New Yorkers, we'll see them in court."

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, and oil operations are the largest source of emissions in the U.S.

New York is joined by California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and the City of Chicago in the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Schneiderman and the 14 other attorneys general put the EPA on notice last June when they filed a notice of intent to sue if the agency didn't fulfill its duty to control methane emissions within 180 days.